Dragon Strong Community

Superintendent's Update - July 22 Learning Options

Dragon Community

The following parent letter is being mailed this week, along with a LEARNING OPTIONS Survey and UPDATING CONTACT forms for parents to complete and return by mail using self-addressed, stamped envelopes BY JULY 31, indicating their choice of learning options. We are sharing this information with the community as well.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work through these challenges, and know that information will be updated as it emerges and is available.


Connections are extremely important in these days of remote learning and distancing. Our most recent reports from the July 22 Food Box messaging show that only 60% of the emails, 78% of the text messages, and 76% of the phone calls were received. Offices are working to verify that we have the most up to date contacts for each parent. The mailing to parents includes updated school contact sheets. PLEASE RETURN ASAP - WE NEED TO REACH PARENTS NOW MORE THAN EVER!!!!


There is a link at the bottom of this newsletter where you can submit questions. Responses to FAQ will be compiled and shared.

Dear Dragon Parents

July 22, 2020

Dear Dragon Parents,

Preparations for the 2020-2021 school year are underway. We look forward to the schools’ re-entry, and appreciate all the support and encouragement many parents have offered as we navigate these times. The start date for school has been delayed until August 24. As a district, Mountainburg will offer (2) options for your student(s) learning experiences, a on-site Blended Learning classroom option and a virtual option for all K-12 students.

On-site Blended Learning looks much like traditional school in that students report to school for a full day of instruction on each school day. Blended Learning is primarily face to face instruction but established in a digital format that allows for rapid transition to remote learning if needed. Teachers, students, and parents will begin the year with training and practice using a Learning Management System (Google Classroom) and Edgenuity, one of the leading digital course providers, to access instruction, lessons, assignments, etc. In the event of illness, quarantine, inclement weather days, or school closure to on-site learning, students will continue learning from home using blended learning for one or more days. Support is available for students with or without home internet access.

Our schools are in preparation for safety precautions including but not limited to:

  • Implementing health screening and temperature checks

  • Limiting visitors on campus except for necessary business

  • Installing hand sanitizer in each office, classroom, cafeteria, and buses

  • Distancing as much as feasible and canceling large group gatherings

  • Staggering schedules to avoid congregation in cafeterias, hallways as much as possible, etc.

  • Replacing water fountains with refillable water bottle stations

  • Installing physical barriers on counters, tables, and desks when feasible

  • Scheduling frequent cleaning and sanitization of all learning spaces and high touch surfaces

  • Parents are asked to screen for health before sending to bus or school, and not send students to school until fever free for at least 48 hours

  • Students will use hand sanitizer as they enter and exit the bus

  • Parents are also asked to consider alternate means of transportation

We will require wearing of face masks or coverings for all adults and students.

  • MPS will provide 3 washable cloth masks for each student, but students are also able to provide their own 2 ply masks.

  • Students may remove masks for eating or drinking, when appropriate social distancing measures are in place, and may be exempted from the Emergency Policy due to documented medical conditions.

  • Students may remove masks and face coverings on a case-by-case basis for specific instructional needs, including physical education activities, as determined by the teacher, in which case the teacher will require appropriate social distancing measures to the extent possible

  • Students may be exempted from this Emergency Policy due to special behavioral or individual needs as determined by the Director of Special Education.

We also understand that there are many reasons why a family may choose not to attend the physical campus. Dragon Virtual Academy (DVA) is a virtual learning option with rare or limited instances on the school campus, with students enrolled in virtual courses using leading digital course provider Edgenuity. Families choosing DVA commit to the fall semester and can reassess their student(s) learning option for the spring semester. It is also required that DVA students have access to the internet at home through a service provider or unlimited wireless hotspot data plan; this will not be provided by Mountainburg Public Schools. If needed, a Chromebook and charger can be provided for use during enrollment.

Families who select DVA will provide the home support needed to guide their children through the education process. Early elementary students focus deeply on foundational reading and critical math skills. As students mature, less direct parent guidance should be required if the student possesses independent study and time management skills. Students with underlying medical conditions, including heart or lung disease or who are at risk for severe illness may be advised to participate in virtual learning for safety. Support services will be provided through teletherapy.

MES: DVA Kindergarten through fourth grade will be hosted by Edgenuity Instructional Services curriculum where students will complete all of their learning online. Students will complete age-appropriate, engaging lessons with access to tools that support learning, including text to speech, audio and translation, text and picture dictionaries, and more. There are also workbooks that will be provided as well. Elementary students in the DVA are required to have a parent trained as their Success Coach. Training and support is provided by Edgenuity and Mountainburg School District.

MMS:DVA 5th and 6th grade middle school students will be in a split class curriculum. All middle school virtual students will engage in online learning through Edgenuity Courseware which offers a wide selection of electives, enabling students to explore areas of interest, more ways for them to pursue their passions and stay engaged and involved in their schooling. Student’s onsite teachers will be monitoring their progress and providing support to students throughout the semester. DVA students meeting eligibility and attending practices may participate in extracurricular activities, including AAA activities. Transportation to practice is not provided.

MHS: DVA High school students will be managed by their classroom teachers through Edgenuity Courseware. Courses are state-approved, standards-aligned curriculum that is designed to fully engage and challenge students through rigorous content delivered by interactive, media-rich instruction. We offer a wide selection of electives, CTE, and Advanced Placement courses to enable students to pursue their interests and future goals. DVA students meeting eligibility and attending practices may participate in extracurricular activities, including AAA activities. Transportation to practice is not provided.

In order for schools to prepare for distancing and instruction, families are asked to select their learning option by NO LATER THAN JULY 31, along with updated contact information.

Thank you for your continued support and patience as we work to plan for the coming school year. Be assured that we are continuing to develop our plans, monitoring and adjusting as new information is available. Please contact the school offices if you have questions concerning this information.


Dr. Debbie Atwell


Learning Options Survey



Parent First Name: _______________ Parent Last Name:____________________

Student First Name:_______________Student Last Name:___________________

School & Grade Level

Learning Option

Response Options:

  • Option 1 - Traditional/Blended Learning On-site
  • Option 2 - Dragon Virtual Academy (one semester commitment)

Internet Access

What type of internet is available at home?

Response Options:

  • No internet
  • Cell phone internet access
  • Cellular Hotspot internet access
  • Internet through a service provider such as Hughesnet, Cox, AT&T


We are LOOKING for ways to find time for teacher teams to work collaboratively using student learning data to plan instruction and drive intervention. No final decision has been made at this time. One option being CONSIDERED is to run a late start schedule for students each Friday morning, with students reporting for class at 9:00 instead of 8:00.


*Buses would pick up students one hour later on Fridays mornings.

*Supervision with study time and activities would be available for students who needed to be dropped off at school between 7:45 and 9:00

*Pre-K students can be dropped off at the regular time or ride the bus for late start

Response Options:

  • No problem, my students could ride the bus, be dropped off, or drive to school to arrive by 9:00 on Fridays.
  • No problem, I can drop off my student between 7:45-9:00 for supervised study/activities.
  • Problem; no home supervision for my student before the proposed later bus route time; also not able to drop them off early for supervised study/activities

GOT QUESTIONS? Submit them using the form below. Responses will be shared in FAQ

Leading Dragon Strong

  • Honor our History through Values and Traditions
  • Build our present through Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Create our future through Creativity and Innovation

Dr. Debbie Atwell is serving her third year as superintendent. She and husband Roger are MHS graduates, life long residents of the community, and are owned by dogs Woodrow & Sadie.